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symptom formation

symptom formation in Medicine

symptom formation n.
The process of developing a physical or behavioral substitute for an unconscious impulse or a conflict that causes anxiety, such as avoiding crowds. Also called symptom substitution.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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